Adelaide, Feb 12 (IANS) Gautam Gambhir's gritty 92 and a massive six by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the last over helped India get past Australia for the first time in the ODI tri-series here Sunday.
India overcame Australia's 269 for eight with two balls and four wickets to spare after a thrilling last over where they needed 13 runs. India's win was their first at the Adelaide Oval and their chase was also the third highest at the popular ground. For Australia, Peter Forrest (66) scored a fifty on debut while fast bowler Clint McKay picked up three wickets.
India looked good in their run-chase right from the start and can only blame themselves for stretching the game right down to the 50th over with the batsmen throwing away their wickets after getting their eye in. In the end, it seemed India might have just lost the cause until skipper Dhoni (44) tonked McKay for a huge blow down the ground, reducing the target to six runs from three balls. The next delivery was a waist-high no-ball from which Dhoni collected two runs and India required three of three. He pulled the next one behind square for three runs to seal the deal and his team's second consecutive win after beating Sri Lanka Wednesday.
Interestingly, Dhoni's decisive hit at the end was his only boundary in his 58-ball innings.
The match would have got over earlier had Virender Sehwag (20), Virat Kohli (18) and Rohit Sharma (33) not got out to bad shots. Suresh Raina (38) gave good support to Dhoni as the two shared a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Gambhir set-up the win for India and was deservingly named the Man of the Match. His 111-ball stay comprised seven fours before he was dubiously adjudged leg before off McKay in the 35th over.
Earlier, Hussey scored 72 for his second fifty of the series and shared a 98-run stand for the fourth wicket with Forrest, who looked at home in his first international match. Captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder Daniel Christian contributed 38 and 39 to the total. Umesh Yadav (2-49), playing his first match of the series, generated some serious pace and was the most impressive of the Indian bowlers.
Clarke had no hesitation in opting to bat on a flat track but Australia could not make most of the conditions early on. Ricky Ponting (6) departed in the fourth over while Clarke and David Warner (18) were dismissed after they looked poised for a big score, leaving Australia at 81 for three in 17.5 overs.
Forrest and Hussey not only steadied the ship from there on, they took on the attack to put the pressure back on India.
Hussey scored his runs at a quick pace and hit five fours in his 76-ball innings.
Forrest was particularly impressive against the spinners, using his feet to hit them down the ground. He smashed Ravindra Jadeja (0-50) for a huge six that cleared comfortably cleared the long straight boundary. The New South Wales born batsman was also good at cut shots against the seamers.